Our impact – Our choices

As humans our impact on the plant and nature is becoming more well-known and understood and with this a desire and acceptance that things must change sooner rather than later.  Air and sea pollution and plastics are a hot topic at the moment and many TV shows, newspaper articles and campaigners are bringing more information to the general public on a daily basis.  Only this month many news agencies are reporting on vast areas of the Amazon rain forest under threat from forest fires.

Working on the Positive People project we interact with digital devices and the internet on a daily basis, so much so that it becomes second nature.  We use and train participants on how to use various electronic devices to help enrich their lives and allow them to interact with the many services and benefits online.  When using the internet we research for content, read up on new and developing technology articles, provide online learning resources for our participants and much more.  It seems every minute of the day is somehow connected with something electronic made up of plastics, metals and other precious materials or using energy and vast digital infrastructures to transmit data.  If the internet was a country it would be the 3rd largest consumer of electricity.

Whilst technology is changing at an electrifying pace human nature remains the same and we all have our own habits weather they be in the home, online, or our day to day choices.  I always choose the same Subway sandwich! And default to driving before public transport.  But recently at a Cosmic team day we took time out to look in detail at our individual and group environmental impact and some possible solutions and changes we could make to our habits to help promote sustainability and reduce our impact on the environment.

One small step identified that day amongst many is to use a different search engine other than my habitual googling.  Ecosia.org is a free online search engine that not only aims to be a carbon neutral company (like google) but to also help us, the user, offset our own carbon footprint by planting trees around the world.  They work with many organisations such as the Eden Reforestation projects in 16 countries to focus on planting trees where they are needed most.  It works by taking the revenue earnt from advertising and turning it into trees which help remove CO2 from the atmosphere.  They claim if they were as big as Google their efforts could absorb 15% of all global CO2 emissions.  As of today they have over 8 million active users and have planted over 65 million trees since their beginnings in 2009.  They don’t store users’ personal details and are transparent in their company finances, they also provide good search results based on the Bing search engine.